Chris Queen

Hating Christmas

Posted on December 25 2010 6:00 am
Chris Queen hails from Covington, GA. Check out his blog, Random Thoughts From The Revolution, and follow him on Twitter.

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6. The Only Green In The Banks These Days Is Money.

There are three different stories of controversy surrounding Christmas decorations at banks this year. First off, in Florida, several Wachovia branches were told to remove Christmas trees and replace them with poinsettias in order to “respect diversity”:

Wachovia spokesperson Christina Kolbjornsen confirmed to Fox 13 that they do not allow Christmas trees in their branches. As an alternative, the banks are allowed to put up a poinsettia.

“We respect the diversity of our customers and our team members and we’re decorating our stores with poinsettia plants so everyone can be included,” Kolbjornsen told Fox. “We recognize and understand that people celebrate the holiday season differently and we love to embrace diversity.”

In a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, a spokesperson from the home office of Wells Fargo, parent company of Wachovia, said that the ban was less about Christmas than about achieving a uniform look throughout the company. The spokesperson also noted that the corporate office used Christmas trees and menorahs in its decorating.

In Texas, Antonio Morales, a local businessman put up an elaborate Christmas tree in the lobby of his local Chase branch, only to be told to take it down less than two weeks later:

The tree remained in the lobby from the Monday before Thanksgiving until Tuesday [November 30]. Morales said his friend called him Wednesday [December 1] to tell him the tree had to go.

Greg Hassell, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman, said that the company’s policy isn’t anti-Christmas. “People wish their customers merry Christmas when it’s appropriate,” he said.

However, to ensure that everyone who visits Chase branches feels welcome and comfortable, the bank’s policy is to use only decorations supplied by the company.

“We appreciate the thoughtful gesture from Mr. Morales,” Hassell said. “Unfortunately, we’re unable to keep it [the tree] on display for the remainder of the holiday season.” JPMorgan Chase ensures that decorations are “something everyone is comfortable with, regardless of how they celebrate the season,” Hassell said.

So if Chase’s policy isn’t anti-Christmas, what is it meant to guard against? Ugly decorations?

Finally, the Payne County Bank in Perkins, Oklahoma was told by Federal Reserve auditors that they couldn’t display religious Christmas decorations or crosses and Bible verses:

Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Perkins last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say “Merry Christmas, God With Us.” were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank’s Internet site also had to be taken down.

You’ll be happy to know that the bank successfully fought the attack from the Federal Reserve and won, something our economy unfortunately can’t claim.

Next: If it looks like a Christmas tree and smells like a Christmas tree, it must be…an atheist tree!

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